Former Wayland Baptist University director of athletics Dr. Greg Feris has been named an inductee into the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Hall of Fame, it was announced today.
"The recognition is truly an honor and I am humbled and really a bit surprised," said Feris, who served as athletics director at Wayland for almost a quarter-century before retiring in 2014. "The NACDA Hall of Fame recipients are usually those from much larger universities who have made outstanding contributions at the national level for one or more schools."
Feris, who received NACDA's Under Armour Athletics Director of the Year three times (1999-2000, 2003-04 and 2012-13) and was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 2007 and into the WBU Hall of Honor in 2009, is one of seven members of NACDA's 2016 class of inductees, along with DeLoss Dodds, University of Texas; Jane Meier, Northern Kentucky; Patricia Meiser, Hartford; Joy Solomen, Rowan; David Stair, Evangel; and John Volek, Sierra.
Feris became director of athletics and a professor of exercise & sport science at Wayland in 1990. He had supervision and oversight of significant budget increases with the development of additional programs, personnel and facilities, adding 13 sports (football, baseball, volleyball, men's and women's wrestling, swimming and diving, golf, soccer, and cheer and dance) while the number of student-athletes increased by approximately 500 percent. Additionally, the number of head coaches grew from three to 13, the number of assistant coaches from three part-timers to 27, and the number of support staff from two part-time positions to eight full-timers.
Academically during Feris' tenure, Wayland produced 80 NAIA scholar-athletes, three NACDA postgraduate scholarship recipients and three NAIA Dr. Leroy Walker Champions of Character recipients.
Feris was instrumental in helping advance the Sooner Athletic Conference in the NAIA, serving on the SAC Executive Committee and on the SAC Membership Committee. He is a former secretary of NACDA (2004-06) and served on the executive committee from 1995-98, as well as the Learfield Directors' Cup Committee.
"Through the years NACDA has made a significant difference in my professional career as well as in my personal life," Feris said. "Those of us fortunate enough to have been chosen to live and work in collegiate athletics are blessed beyond measure. Where else does one have the opportunity to work side by side with amazing student athletes, multi-talented coaches and staff, as well as outstanding university administrators?
"My years at Wayland were very special and made more so by my involvement with NACDA. I am particularly indebted to former Wayland administrators Dr. Wallace Davis and Dr. Bill Hardage for giving me the initial opportunity to be part of NACDA, and more recently Dr. Paul Armes, Dr. Claude Lusk and Dr. Bobby Hall for their continued support of my endeavors with the national organization. Not only did the support of each of these men make me a better professional, each had a hand in making me a better man.
"I celebrate this achievement with my wife Glenda and our family and with all those who have worked hand in hand with me to make each day a little better than the day before."
Feris and the other NACDA honorees will receive their awards on Tuesday, June 14 at NACDA's 51st annual convention during the Learfield Directors' Cup Luncheon, located at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas.